January 16th, 2009
12:20 PM ET
12 years ago

Poll: TARP not working; don't spend more, Americans say

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/16/art.kashkari0116.gi.jpg caption="Assistant Treasury Secretary Neal Kashkari has been responsible for TARP under the Bush administration."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The government's financial bailout for troubled banks has not worked so far, a majority of respondents to a national poll say, and six in 10 don't want Washington to spend more money on the rescue.

Sixty-one percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday oppose providing more government money in the financial bailout. There are some supporters, however - 38 percent said the government should provide more assistance to ailing banks and other financial institutions.

Most of the 1,245 adult Americans who were questioned for the poll were surveyed before Thursday's Senate vote to release the remaining $350 billion in the financial bailout program.

"One reason for the opposition to more money being spent may be that more than eight in 10 said that the first $350 billion of taxpayer money for the bailout didn't work," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only 14 percent say that the money accomplished what it was supposed to do."

Regardless of the apparent public opposition to the bailout, the Senate voted 52 to 42 to release the remaining funds.

"Barack Obama may have something to do with the vote," said Holland. "Democratic leaders in the Senate may not have been eager for a showdown with the president-elect. The public would have been squarely on Obama's side. Sixty-two percent in the poll say they trust Obama more than Democratic Congressional leaders."

That compares to only 25 percent of those questioned in the poll indicating they would be more likely to trust Democratic Congressional leaders over Obama when they disagree on an issue.

The poll also suggests that 50 percent of those questioned believe Republicans are more responsible for the economic problems facing the country right now. Less than a quarter of the respondents said Democrats are more to blame, and one in five said both parties are equally at fault.

"Democrats may also have recognized that the public still blames the GOP for the bad economy. That suggests that the public may give the Democrats some leeway, at least for now," Holland added.

The 61 percent who oppose proving more taxpayer money for the financial bailout is up from 56 percent who opposed the initial bailout in mid-October.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted Monday through Thursday by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for some questions and plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for others.

Filed under: CNN Polls • Economy • Popular Posts
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Charles L. Shaw, Liverpool, NY

    To james, right on ! Time for the return of freedom and Liberty to this great country...Welcome to the Libertarian party !

    January 16, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Real Change

    Yes through this world I've wondered
    Through this world I've been
    Some men rob you at the point of a gun
    and other with a fountain pen.

    January 16, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Nola

    People from October thur December more than 1.5million people lost their jobs – most of these individuals were gainfully employed and had the ability to pay their car, mortgage, student loans, and other debts. When they lost their jobs they became unable to pay the lenders for these loans, mortgages -then the banks has no choice but to look at the debt as bad –

    January 16, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Irritated in Fl

    All this TARP and bailout money is for is to give to the rich buddies of politicians so that they can squirrel away some cash for this whopper of a depression we have coming. Nothing has changed. I know from first hand experience that AIG is only paying pennies on dollars of insurance claims. The Banks are closing credit instead of loosening it, its just a smoke screen. It's a "feel good" diversion to the American people while the rich shore up for the rough road ahead. We're screwed and Obama just wants to insure that we get so far in over our heads that China will own us.

    January 16, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. David

    People actually expect to have the economy recover within a few weeks? That's just not realistic. It will take time to work.

    Most of us have cut personal spending either because we have lost our jobs or are afraid of losing them soon. That cuts demand which causes more job loss. The Government can spend money and get things moving again. It's unfortunate the banks weren't properly regulated to prevent this disaster but we are stuck with it now.

    As far as the TARP money spent so far, there is absolutely no excuse for not being able to identify where every single dime of it went. That's yet another utter failure by the Bush administration and the Congress supposedly in charge of oversight. The incoming Obama administration promised to be more transparent. I say spent the remaining TARP funds but have the accountability that was promised when the TARP bill was proposed/signed. If it's spent in the right way it will help us get our economy going again. If the committee in charge of oversight fails to do it's job, vote them out in the next election.

    January 16, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. couple

    Isnt the second part of this stimulus suppose to go to infrastructure and job creation, not the banks?

    I just find it strange that people are all for cutting off the money that is to go back to the people, but were all gun ho about the first part of the bail out going to the banks.

    This is a necessary evil right now and I quite frankly am tired of being out of work for 4+ months.

    January 16, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. Lori In DFW, Texas

    Financial institutions embody everything that is wrong and evil in this world....from the "insufficient funds" fee of $35 (they are charging you more of what they know darned well you don't have enough of), to charging insane interest rates on credit cards to good customers who pay on time, to the CEOs lining up at the trough and pigging out on our tax dollars, they absolutely S.U.C.K.

    As for me, I have been hoarding cash, keeping it with me rather than letting the banks use it and charge me for the "priviledge". If everybody did the same thing, they would be brought to their knees in no time.

    America, pull your cash, and tell 'em to get lost. Keep only enough to pay your bills. We DO have power in this situation....not through our elected officials, but with our hard-earned dollars.

    I also, as I'm driving around, flip off every bank I see. 🙂 This is how bad things have gotten...because I'm not the only one.

    January 16, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Incompetent!

    Bush's incompetence rubbing off on everything he touches – even his appointees are as clueless as he has been the past eight years. The administration of these huge sums of money by this fellow – who has admitted that he doesn't have a clue what the borrowing banks have done with the already issued half of the funds – has left me scratching my head.

    In simple parlance; "we the people" have been robbed & will be compelled to pay up for generations.

    January 16, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |

    I am amazed that BofA has given me 45K for a year w/ NO interest... starting last Sept. I had to pay a $99.00 one time fee for this...

    Thanks to this I am earning about 1K in interest on the bank CD'S
    that I have put these funds in...

    I know they are hoping I screw up so they can nail me... but the secret is that I know what they want.. and will avoid same...

    Are they using the funds loaned to me to convince the feds that they are loaning...??

    To get to this credit limate they took some of my unused cr limate on a MC and put it onto my Visa.... Amazingly it was their offer to do this
    and so far so good... ( wonderful)...
    Yup its that old(69yrs)-white, retired guy-Former Republican BRUCE

    January 16, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Matt

    First $350B

    GOP: Give a Republican administration $350B to dole out to our rich financial industry friends without any oversight? HELL YEAH!!!

    Second $350B

    GOP: Give a Democratic administration to dole out to our rich financial industry friends with appropriate oversight, forcing them to help fix the economy and lift up all th epeople suffering right now? HELL NO...THEY VOTED FOR OBAMA AND SHOULD BE PUNISHED!!!

    January 16, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. FreeNLovIt

    And dont worry, the $ are in the banks' vaults and they're buying each out and paying debts off 🙂 It's a great country if you are a high-level lobbyists.

    January 16, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Sara from Arizona

    Where is my bailout? Your tax dollars at work.

    January 16, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Bulldog

    It's funny, every time I post I get a "waiting moderation" but posts right before and within minutes after mine, are posted. What's the deal. They do not break any rules, quite to the contrary and they are not long either.

    January 16, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Linda - WI

    "Only 14 percent say that the money accomplished what it was supposed to do."

    Those would be the bankers whose jobs were saved.

    January 16, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. Bulldog

    To couple : No. This discussion is about the second half of the TARP. The TARP is $700B rescue package. Paulson, spent $350, given to AGI and other banks and financial institutions. Obama wants the rest ($350) also to be used to rescue the financial markets but I suspect it may be spent differently than the first or at least with more oversight.

    There is another package being designed ( $700B – 1.5 T) to stimulate the economy for jobs, tax cuts, etc.

    January 16, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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